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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

202        HISTORY OF WESTERN EDUCATION

the poore must be supported and sustenit on the charge of the
Churche, till tryell be tackin, whethir the spirit of docilitie be
fund in them or not. Yf thei be fund apt to letteris and learnyng
then may thei not (we meane, neathir the sonis of the riche, nor
yit the sonis of the poore) be permittit to reject learnyng; but
must be chargeit to continew thair studie, sa that the Commoun-
wealthe may have some confort by them."*

The scheme, which was worked out in further detail by Knox
and his fellows, exhibits the usual features of Calvinistic educa-
tion : the assumption of direct responsibility for the schools by
the Church, the equal care of all children irrespective of sex or
social class, the attempt to direct education to social ends by
making it culminate in a training for the service of the Church or
the State. But it presents some new features, which may almost
certainly be credited to Knox: at any rate, there is nothing quite
like them in the Continental precedents which he followed most
closely in other matters of Church regulation. One was the
prescription of universal education, as far as the rudiments, for
rich and poor alike, under penalty of Church censure. Luther had
recommended the German princes to make education compulsory
for all their subjects. Knox gave practical effect to the idea of
compulsion by making the Church and not the State the com-
pelling authority. Still more important was the idea of a unified
system of national schools by which the pupil with the requisite
ability might attain to the highest positions in the land. The
Genevan academy, like the medieval universities, was at once an
elementary school, a secondary school and a university. In the
Scottish scheme the different grades of learning were definitely
separated, and yet all contributed to the final result. The pupil
in the remotest country district might spend two years learning
reading, catechism, and the elements of grammar; then pass to a
town grammar school to study grammar and Latin for three or
four years more; next go for four years to a high school or college
in one of the larger towns to get a knowledge of logic, rhetoric,
and the ancient languages (including Greek), and finally to the
university for a three years* course in philosophy (including
dialectic, mathematics and natural philosophy), to be followed by
a course in law, medicine or theology, which he would complete
about his twenty-fifth year.

* The Works of John Knox, ii<